Ed was rather relieved to see the news that Harry Reid would be exiting stage Left at this end of his current term, and there are more than adequate reasons to be happy to see “Dirty Harry” going out the door. But we were chatting when the news first broke and I expressed a couple of minor reservations about celebrating too much. First – and I admit this is a rather petty attitude – it would have been far more satisfying to have Reid run for another term and lose. Yes, the end result is the same, and this is far more of a sure thing, but it just would have seemed like more of a vindication. But second, and far more to the point, his obvious replacement to be the leader of Senate Democrats is Chuck Schumer. As a born and raised New Yorker, I can assure you that this is by no means an upgrade.
The New York Post published a surprisingly sunny editorial about Schumer this week, but expressed some doubts as to whether or not Chuck is “in step” with the rest of his party on the key subject of Iran.
Schumer could wind up a leader badly out of step with his caucus if he does the right thing on Iran.
Just this week, Schumer signed on as a co-sponsor of the bipartisan Corker-Menendez bill, which would force President Obama to submit the text of his Iran deal to the Senate for approval within five days of it being inked — and prevent him from easing sanctions on Iran for 60 days.
The bill will pass; Obama will veto it. Will Schumer vote to override — and help mark the start of the lame-duck era of this presidency?
Schumer may have signed on to this bill, but more than a few observers feel that he hasn’t changed his stripes and will wind up backing whatever Obama decides on. After all, agreeing to call for a congressional “review” of the deal and inserting a pause before rolling back sanctions is not the same as opposing the deal. It really comes down to the final question asked in the New York Post article… if the bill is strongly worded enough to actually do anything and Obama vetoes it, would Schumer support and vote for an override motion? Color me skeptical.
But even if we’re not just discussing Iran and Israel, Chuck Schumer is no sort of centrist who might reasonably be expected to work with Mitch McConnell and accomplish anything rational. If anything, Chuck is well to the left of Harry Reid, who may have engaged in some scandalous wheeling and dealing, but he was at least willing to make a deal from time to time. (Assuming it directly benefited him, of course.) Schumer’s colorful history is a lot closer to Bernie Sanders than to Harry Reid.
We’re talking about a guy who is such an enemy of “Big Oil” that he has actually floated the idea of seizing the assets of the oil companies and nationalizing them as has been done in many socialist nations. He favors a carbon tax on everyone and if you ask him about tax reform, he will freely tell you that it starts with taxing the heck out of the “wealthy” people. (Which means pretty much anyone with a job at this point.)
As for Second Amendment rights, they don’t exist in Chuck Schumer’s world. He was a big supporter of the deplorable New York SAFE Act, and if you read his “On the Record” statements, he’s never seen a gun restriction that he didn’t like. Immigration questions? Chuck is ready to open the doors.
There isn’t anything resembling a centrist bone in Chuck Schumer’s body. If he’s the one calling the shots for the Democrats in the Senate you can forget about any sort of bipartisan work being done. It’s going to be all obstruction all the time, and should the Democrats somehow regain control of the Senate in 2016 I can assure you that you’ll almost find yourself missing Harry Reid.